Billy Crystal made the argument long ago that women and men could never successfully become friends. His case in When Harry Met Sally was built on what he argued was a person's inability to trust his or her latent lust, which ultimately sabotages any relationship. As he so eloquently put it: "The sex part always gets in the way."
In the almost-30 years since the film's release, a lot has happened in relationships and how we understand them. This tired notion that men and women can't be friends is not only wrong -- it's unhealthy. Having platonic friends who identify as the same gender as your love interests is vital to maintaining a healthy relationship with your partner -- you know, the person you should be having regular sex with.
To help understand and unravel this issue, we spoke with psychologist Dr. Wendy Walsh. She had some keen insights into the value of having these kinds of fruitful, platonic relationships.
It teaches you healthy communication skills
"Can men and women be friends?" asks Dr. Walsh. "Of course they can, if they keep their boundaries intact." The key, she says, is setting boundaries early on and keeping the details of your romantic relationship private to avoid emotional intimacy. So, if you're running to your female friend to hand out juicy details of the hot sex you just had with your girlfriend… stop.